South King Fire & Rescue has lost more than 22 percent of its annual revenue as property values have declined. This reduction has necessitated major cutbacks in service levels and personnel, longer emergency response times and 23 departmental vacancies, including front-line firefighters. Those who remain have taken voluntary cuts in pay and benefits.
Even with cuts, the fire district continues to offer higher-quality fire and emergency services at a lower cost to taxpayers than surrounding communities. Unfortunately, the economic picture is not going to get better anytime soon, and capital reserves are just about depleted. Thus, these services are still threatened.
In order to maintain these services, please vote yes on South King F&R’s maintenance and operations levy Aug. 7. This four-year levy will allow the district to bridge the gap between current funding and the actual cost of operating at an efficient level for our community. It only costs the average homeowner of a $200,000 home less than $5 per month and restores an emergency aid unit. Failure will ultimately lead to more cuts in vital services.
Every vote counts. This levy requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Please join the 59 percent of voters who already approved this levy. This is the last chance to provide a stable funding source for the next four years.